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Budget foresees higher revenues balanced by rise in faculty costs, special ed

The ARISE Academy board expects a 26 percent increase in 2012-13 revenues to be offset by spending for new staff to instruct additional students, a growing number of them students with special needs.

The annual budget hearing was held Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. Board members Jen Walcott, Larry Eustis, Elaine Reyes, Katie Beck and Candice Frazier were present, along with principal Andrew Shahan and assistant principal Tanya Lewis.

A reporter from The Lens was the only member of the general public in attendance.

State funding based on an enrollment of 461 students is expected to total $3.4 million. Federal Title 1 and IDEA funds should come to $320,000, and the draft budget also includes a $229,000 School Improvement Grant from Washington.

The addition of 17 instructors brings total staffing to 55, and is reflected in the 38 percent rise in salaries to $2.4 million in the coming year. Benefit expenditures are up 62 percent, chiefly as a result of increased healthcare costs.

The combined cost of utilities, custodial services and rent will double as ARISE becomes sole occupant of the building.

Projected savings result from the switch to a Recovery School District bus-share plan and a new contract with KIPP school food services.

The budget foresees a year-end fund balance of about $30,800.

The budget hearing lasted 35 minutes.

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